We received a question from Baby Buncher Jenny P. We're going to answer it the best we can, but we'd would like to call on any of you out there who might fit in this category to help us out.
Q: I've been wondering if any of your readers have achieved Advanced Buncher status (i.e. 3 under 3, or 4 under 4, etc.)? My husband and I are actually contemplating number 3 [Note: she has a 3 month old and 17 month old], but I'm wondering if we're just totally insane. Though, I must say that 2 under 2 (while a challenge) hasn't been that bad and often actually fun.
A (from Linda ): Give it some time before you make the irreversible decision of adding to your family. While the first few months of 'two under two' are extremely difficult with two little 'twiblings' still in diapers and not sleeping well, the crucial thing to point which might make it seem easy is that one child is still not going anywhere.I really felt the most difficult part was when the second one became mobile. Having one strapped into something at all times and they other one still somewhat agreeable to being strapped in was a whole different ballgame to two toddlers going in opposite directions.
My biggest guilt trip with my bunch has always been the time I didn't have alone with my oldest. Kids who are two and a half and three years apart have some nice quality time with mom before the second baby comes around. When kids are 16 months apart (like my kids are), there was never very much time just with mom when I was pregnant or dealing with a younger child. Now that my kids are older (4 1/2 and 3), I am able to recreate some 1:1 time with each of them, but I can never get back the baby/toddler years that I missed out on by simply trying to survive.
Back to your question about having three under three, I think a lot has to do with your own personality. I know many moms who go this route and while it's tough in the beginning, in the end they say it's the same payoff as having two under two.
A (from Cara): As a pseudo-advanced Baby Buncher (3 under 5), I think it depends on your situation. Totally agree with Linda that there is a "honeymoon period" before your youngest gets mobile where you don't realize how tough things are gonna get. I often tell people who are considering Baby Bunching that if they really want to do it, they should get pregnant before the baby is 8/9/10 months old or crawling. Because I know that had I not already been pregnant when my oldest started crawling, I probably would have waited until he was about 3 to get pregnant again. Now, having said that, if the reasons that you want to Bunch include advanced maternal age, a need to Bunch for career purposes (condensing the time you take off), or just really generally wanting your siblings close in age, and you think that Baby Bunching is a fit for your family (take into account your children's temperaments) and your personality then go for it. A friend of mine who had 3 under 3 said that she wouldn't recommend it for every person or family, but it was right for her family. She added that while yes, things were crazy in her life, she knew that it was a brief blip of time in the grand scheme of things and it wouldn't always be that way. In terms of can you manage it? I always say that you will be able to do whatever comes your way. Because really, are you just gonna wake up one day and say, "Hmm. Sorry. I just can't parent my 3 under 3 today." Just don't make the decision lightly, because it is one of the few decisions in life that you can't undo.